Tucson took the trifecta in the Phoenix area tonight with three local teams earning a state championship in softball and baseball:
Ironwood Ridge topped Centennial 5-2 in the 5A state softball championship at ASU.
Sabino topped Sahuarita 3-0 in the 3A state baseball title game at Hohokam Park in Mesa.
Salpointe capped the night earning a 4A state title with a 4-1 win over Mesquite at Hohokam.
Sabino makes statement with 3A title
Sabino (24-6) was at first banned from playing in the state tournament this spring because of alleged recruiting violations in the past but the Sabercats got a reprieve from the AIA in September.
The No. 6 Sabercats made the most of the opportunity and a state that they belong, winning all four postseason games.
Sabino achieved its fourth shutout behind Mike Snyder’s three-hitter in beating No. 4 Sahuarita.
Sabino state 3A champions pic.twitter.com/GaadWHD2CC
The Sabercats won their second state baseball title. The other happened in 1997. Sahuarita also finished 24-6, a record that includes two wins over Sabino in the regular season.
Last year, Sabino had its 3A title over Sahuarita stripped because of the alleged recruiting violations. The Sabercats did not let that get them down under new coach Shane Folsom.
“I’m very proud of this team,” said Folsom, who previously coached at Catalina. “They never stopped believing they were state champions.”
Snyder, a senior, had quite a pitcher’s duel against Arizona signee Jose Dicochea of Sahuarita. Snyder allowed three hits, walked two and struck out seven. He pitched earlier in the tournament in the quarterfinals. He beat Fountain Hills, 10-0, with a five-inning, one-hitter.
“(Sahuarita) had never seen him before, last year or this year,” Folsom said. “He’s done a great job. He showed it today.”
Sabino scored its first run in the fifth. A walk to No. 9 hitter Riley Squire and a wild pitch put Squire in scoring position at second base. A fly out moved Squire to third and he came home on an infield single down the third base line that Adam Villasenor legged out.
Sabino added two more runs in the seventh. A leadoff walk, sacrifice, intentional walk and an infield error set up the runs. A wild pitch scored one and the other crossed home on an infield hit by Gavi Coldiron.
Dicochea allowed five hits, walked three and struck out 10 in six innings.
Salpointe wins first state baseball title
Salpointe held on to beat Mesquite for its first state baseball championship in school history in its fourth title game appearance.
The Lancers (25-6) rallied after trailing 1-0 going into the third inning.
Senior right-hander Jaeden Swanberg took the win for Salpointe, allowing five hits and two runs over six innings, striking out four and walking one.
Cade McGee, a third baseman, threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen for his third save this postseason. Salpointe managed to overcome Mesquite starter TJ Clarkson, who struck out 12 batters in 4 2/3 innings.
Romeo Ballesteros and Jose Cornejo each collected multiple hits for Salpointe. Ballesteros went 3-for-4 with two runs and Cornejo went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Cornejo’s two-run single with two outs in the third gave Salpointe a 2-1 lead.
Salpointe Catholic beats Mesquite 4-3 to win 4A State Title pic.twitter.com/Sq76XVZ0DI
Ballesteros scored on a wild pitch in the sixth and Cornejo had an RBI single in the top of the seventh to increase the lead to 4-1.
McGee replaced Swanberg with a runner on in the bottom of the seventh. After a hit-by-pitch and walk to load the bases with no outs, Mesquite managed to score on a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly. McGee then struck out the last batter.
“I know they’re going to play defense behind me, so that’s never going to be a problem,” McGee told the Arizona Republic.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.